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Audit finds low-performing Fayette schools need to make better use of data

Josh James

A state diagnostic review team has done a deep dive on Lexington’s lowest performing schools, after the Kentucky Department of Education designated them as CSI, or being in need of “Comprehensive Support and Improvement.”

A statewide “report card” released last October found Fayette County schools ranking above average in several key areas, but the CSI designation meant Harrison and William Wells Brown Elementary schools – the lowest-scoring – would undergo in-depth audits.

At the time, Superintendent Demetrus Liggins highlighted several challenges schools face, including recovering from interruptions caused by COVID-19.

"We absolutely have to do everything we can to ensure that this pandemic does not define the trajectory of our students and the trajectory of their learning experiences in their lives," the Fayette school leader said.

But the audit, meant to guide improvement going forward, found that the use of data to make decisions at the two schools is “unclear and informal.” The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the review also found that data is not finding its way into the system, when it comes to improving student achievement.

Liggins told the Leader there are no surprises in the report and it affirms the targeted supports being implemented in Fayette County are concentrated in the right areas.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.